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Messages - richardgurtler

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301


Bruno Sanfilippo & Max Corbacho "BIOMA" CD

The two protagonists of Spanish ad21music label, Bruno Sanfilippo & Max Corbacho, have teamed up for their second collaborative effort entitled "BIOMA", released at the end of November 2011. The first one, "Indalo", was released back in 2003. "BIOMA" is quite different when comparing to "Indalo" or to any other of their previous solo works or Bruno's collaborations with Mathias Grassow. It remains in ambient genre, but with strong focus on field recordings collected in the landscapes of province Tarragona, Spain, during the spring of 2010. Location recordings of bird calls, insects, frogs and other water dwelling inhabitants, water sounds... are the base for this long form, clocking to 59 minutes, sonic palette merging carefully these environmental sounds with electronics. Some parts are very authentic, evoking nocturnal walk along the forest's pond and enjoying all the live performances of ecosystem's residents while some other sections move to more grasslanded areas spiced by assorted bells or cowbells, yet the texture remaining very tranquil. At times more high-tech escapades invade the environmentals too, but always keeping its character naturally colored, harmonious and living. Deeper, nightly drones come to the fore too, bringing this composition into more abstract level, but the organics won't lose this show and return back, even if few more experimentally breathing or echoed effects keep on enriching the texture. But also few more meditative, hypnotic moments can be explored when the sounds evoking singing bowls enter this walk. Last 12 minutes slowly return into natural beauty and tranquility to bring the album to the closing point where it all began. Both artists have managed refinely to melt and sculpt their own sonics with on-site phonographies to hold listener's attention through the entire piece. Yes, "BIOMA" is for sure different, but beautifully immersing and mesmerizing!!! Our two budgies love it too...:-) Hand-numbered elegant digipak is another bonus. Nice work, amigos!!!

Richard Gürtler (Dec 28, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)


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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach 2012 Box Set
« on: December 28, 2011, 02:06:28 AM »
"Back To Life" is a true masterwork!!! Time to explore "Groove Immersion"...

Have a wonderful end of the old year and beginning of the new one... :)

Richard

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Quote
This is really a good deal. I have both of these cd's and they are excellent.

My words, Harry... :)  Both CDs of Chad Kettering are highly recommended!!!

Richard

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Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Oophoi & Paul Vnuk jr
« on: December 03, 2011, 11:58:26 AM »
hello Richard,
"Dreamfields" will be available mid december.
I'll try to post the cover image later.
Gigi

Time to buy some Christmas gifts... :)

Richard

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Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Oophoi & Paul Vnuk jr
« on: December 03, 2011, 06:14:16 AM »
Thank you for the great news, Gigi, I am really looking forward to it!!!

Richard

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Anthony, can't miss this one, just ordered!!! Have a wonderful time in Southern Ontario... :)

Richard

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Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Upwelling" CDr by Steve Brand
« on: November 27, 2011, 11:42:58 AM »


Steve Brand "Upwelling" CDr

Here comes one of the newest releases of Kansas based sound explorer, trained energy healer and visual artist Steve Brand, released during September 2011 on his Pioneer Light Music label. "Upwelling" is a kind of compilation, as stated by Steve, consisting of epiphanies, experiments, singular moments, remixes and re-discoveries. This strongly absorbing trip begins with "Forgotten Feast (Edit)" that unfolds with eerie and foggy organic dronescapes, later smoothly changing like chamaeleon into beautifully drifting ethereal pearl with few colossal vibrations hidden on the background. What a blissfully gracious overture!!! "Overtone" fits quite well "Avatara" recording session with interacting echoed spooky sonics and moments of silence. Magical flute work adds to abyssal drones a truly mysterious feel, another totally awesome piece! "Over-Soul (Short Form)" with deeper static drones remains in an immense emptiness and silence of outer space. Uniquely strange voices and assorted tinkling bell sounds lead "The Language Of Moon And Tide", in the second half with more dominating and intense spiraling drones. "Morning Glory (Remix)" is painted with dreamy, evolving ambience capturing a slightly yearning feel. Slow-motion "The Web" flows in sky high realms too, but spiced with few dramatic movements and bird calls. Title composition "Upwelling" is quite minimal in its structure, but at times it becomes more monumental and intense and also more disturbing with few industrialized effects. "Selves Like Facets In A Diamond" with its strongly cavernous feel is enriched by assorted metallic percussions and alienating sounds. A very mysterious composition, but the most magical piece is the closing "Ever-Increasing Brightness" with uniquely echoed sounds of exotic percussions and expressive strings, again with attractively melted sonics and silence, all wrapped into unforgettable shamanistic performance! "Upwelling" is hauntingly rich and mysterious collection of pieces presenting Steve Brand at the top of his creativity painting purely spectacular sceneries for inner mind journey. Have a great trip!!! But don't go away too far, because one new album "Subtle Movements Inside" and re-issue of "Cahokia" were just released...

Richard Gürtler (Nov 27, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Thank you, drone on, I really appreciate your feedback!!!

Richard

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Steve Roach "Journey Of One" 2xCD

"Journey Of One" double CD, with official street date at November 8th, 2011 by Projekt, is absolutely essential live recording documenting Steve Roach's rich tribal-ambient era during the 90's when milestone works like "Artifacts" or "Origins" were created and numerous legendary co-works were born, with Robert Rich ("Strata", "Soma"), with Jorge Reyes and Suso Saiz, under Suspended Memories project name ("Forgotten Gods", "Earth Island"), with Vidna Obmana ("Well Of Souls") as well as with Michael Stearns and Ron Sunsinger ("Kiva"). Plenty of groundbreaking recordings, so I couldn't wait to explore this archived recording from November 8th, 1996, in Sacramento, California. Packaged in beautiful 6-panel digipak with magically looking ancient cover image that immediately raised my eyebrows. The double set, featuring 14 untitled tracks, reveals the odyssey with bullroarer that invites us to fully experience this spectacular live show. Textured desert soundscapes are soon joined by gently gradual tribal percussions and distant vocalizations. I immediately close my eyes and transport myself into the venue to be a part of these magically timeless realms. I am there with the audience and with the Master, the journey continues... Vast ethnographic ambience at its most evocative level!!! And soon Steve raises his didgeridoo to join these ancient sculptings, other exotic ethnic instrumens are here to bridge the reality with primordials. Later on some femme voices and whispers are added to color this spiraling ride with larger dose of cavernous sounds explored. Crispy bells and slowly arising heavy thundering beats are ready to steal the show... A true avalanche of rich and organic sonic mysteries to capture purely ecstatic live experience, one of its kind magic!!! Some voice mastery and slowly fading away intimate panoramas gracefully close the first set. The only intermission occurs when moving to the second disc, but the journey continues again to sink deeper into Steve's distinctive mythological stories, intensely absorbing and powerful journey heading to the forefront of electroacoustic adventures!!! Steve's highly imaginative soundscapes are enriched with more massive trancey-tribal rhythms and create a truly mesmerizing effect. Immersing didgeridoo magic returns again and leads to another deeply evocative drones and voices alternating with gentle tribal beats or more frenetic rhythm parts. Crystalline cybergrooves join the stage too, on 5th piece, wonderfully midtempo-driven ambient music that most likely later led to phenomenal and evolutive works like "Core" or "Blood Machine" (with Vir Unis). Next composition is another absolutely entertaining and dramatic piece of music that could be easily described as soundtrack to "Crocodile Dundee" film series, an amazing sonic travelogue taking the listener across the time into aboriginal Australia, the homeland of wooden trumpet. Immensely atmospheric epilogue magnificently closes this highly spiritual and emotional live movement and adventure, a document that proves unlimited power and virtuosity of Steve Roach, a true sonic traveler!!! Steve Roach was born to enrich this world with his pioneering sonic visions and he succeeds in his mission with every of his works!!! Even if "Journey Of One", I was journeying too, thank you, Steve, for taking me with you to Sacramento!!! I only wish I could turn up the volume of my home audio system much higher for maximum effect, but our neighbors wouldn't be very happy probably...

Richard Gürtler (Nov 20, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Thank you, Harry, I am sure you will enjoy "Medicine Box" as much I do. Robert Rich is a true perfectionist and this album only proves this. All the best... :)

Richard

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Hi drone on, thank you for your kind words!!! I have no idea how to write a bad review... :) I am just a hobby reviewer, I am writing only about music that I like.

Richard

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Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Medicine Box" CD by Robert Rich
« on: November 17, 2011, 10:15:54 AM »


Robert Rich "Medicine Box" CD

Ambient icon Robert Rich strikes back with brand new sonic pearl "Medicine Box", released at November 1st, 2011, on his own Soundscape Productions imprint. Following the footsteps of legendary albums like "Propagation", "Seven Veils" or more recent "Ylang", this new album bridges all trademarking ingredients of these masterworks, but also adds other unique and challenging flavors. "Medicine Box" unwraps with "Alba", a sublimely euphoric blend of world fusion and ambient, it's attractively perfumed and richly textured warm, rhythm-charged composition featuring as guest Haroun Serang on guitar, who already contributed to several other Robert's albums. Intro with very intoxicating melody! "Kaaruwana" brings to the stage shimmering wordless voices of Cheri Chuang, a classically trained composer and vocalist, moving from absolutely ethereal and angelic to fragilely whispering ones, beautifully interacting with Robert's crystalline soundscaping, a truly poetic bliss for my ears!!! Strongly organic and colorfully unique "Macula" is dominated by evocative gentle piano and crispy pulsing percussions with notable appearances of Hans Christian on cello (long time collaborator of Robert Rich) and Edo Castro on bass. Chromatic harmonica of Slim Heilpern wonderfully spices "Cornea" and adds western feel to this rather psychedelically eclectic composition. "Crepescule" succeeds magnificently in portraying the power and beauty of Robert's flute magic, with subtle polyrhythms that are joined by poignant cello and cheerful piano. A truly haunting masterpiece evoking yearning and nostalgia!!! "Pollen" is another emotionally moving and heartwarming composition highlighted by Cheri Chuang's heavenly voices and exotic-charged subtle movements. "Callyx" masterfully fuses sensitive melodies with eerie lap steel guitar ambiences. Denser landscapes are explored through "Salamander Quay", showcasing Robert's outstanding skill in expressing emotions through his electroacoustic wizardry and musicality. The journey culminates with almost 11 minutes long epilogue "Helios", painted with magnetizing exotic polyrhythms in the first half, while the second part excels with celestial voices floating above shadowy sonic panoramas. I think this composition displays the best Robert's distinctive sound painting with carefully selected and merged virtuoso performances of Cheri Chuang, Hans Christian and Edo Castro. An absolutely magnificent "all inclusive" blend holding the signature that is only Robert Rich and designed directly for my Ambient Hall Of Fame!!! "Medicine Box" is an ultimate and triumphant shamanistic healing journey with genius performances on every level dedicated to all connoisseurs of world fusion/tribal/ambient essentials!!! Audiophile sound quality and gorgeous 6-panel digipak artwork by the Bergin gang should be immediately awarded too!!!

Richard Gürtler (Nov 17, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Ciao Gigi!!!

I am really happy to see back here, you made my day, my friend!!! Again and again, keep on going and keep on fighting!!! I hope there will be another chapter of your co-work with Andy. By the way, in the meantime I will be very busy listening to your Oophoi re-issues at Databloem's Practising Nature. I just returned from the post-office with my order from Dennis with "Night Currents", "Three Lights At The End Of The World" and second and third parts of "Signals From The Great Beyond". Can't wait to explore them during the coming days!!! All the best and have a nice rest of autumn time in Umbria... :) :) :)

Richard

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Thank you so much for your nice words, Andy, I really appreciate that!!! It was my great pleasure to review yours & Gigi's masterwork!!! I am sending my best wishes also to Gigi, keep on fighting!!!

Richard

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Seren Ffordd + Oöphoi "The Martian Chronicles" CD

Seren Ffordd, in Wales based drone master, has released since 2006 several albums and EPs on Oöphoi's Umbra and Penumbra labels. Now teamed with the Italian drone king for their first collaborative work, "The Martian Chronicles", on Hypnos, where both artists have released several albums (Seren Ffordd on Hypnos Secret Sounds). Sculpted during 2006-2009 and inspired by Ray Bradbury's short science fiction story from 1950, "The Martian Chronicles", released in October 2011 and packaged in attractive 4-panel digipak, is an adventurous and deep sonic exploration merging the talents of Andy Benford aka Seren Ffordd and Gianluigi Gasparetti aka Oöphoi. Nearly 15 minutes long overture, "The Long Years", opens this grandeur voyage with colossally deep drones with invading bells, gongs and extraterrestrial-infused rumblings and resonations. A truly immense soundwalls designed for all aficionados of ultra deep, massive ambience, magnificent!!! With the next, again 15-minute composition, we dive straightly into a chasmic void. "Dead Cities" are painted in the first half with extremely freezing drones and mechanized breathings climbing into the throne of drones, while in the second half the breathings slowly dissolve and some, rather distractive and ominous effects step into the fore and color this ultimate giant drone wizardry. This is stunningly stellar and powerful sound sculpting evoking wonderful sense of spatial emptiness!!! "Blue Fire", another longer piece, keeps on the more active, emerging route, where assorted, mostly otherworldly, at times oddly sounding effects and outbursts enrich the drone. Also few recognizable sounds can be heard, for example something like a trot of a horse. "End Of A Changeling" is shorter, eclectic piece featuring extracts from each track, cut and mixed. "Canals" opens with watery and distant storm sounds that support more free floating drifts, quite relieving and relaxing when comparing to preceding adventurous sonic alchemy. The next composition, "Flamebirds Waiting For The Storm", as its title tells, is flavored with processed bird calls, later the rain and thunder shake the heaven to achieve the most organic environment. Deeply echoed, slow-motion drones with occasional rumblings escape into the darkness of sinkholing "Unremembered" and provide the closing part of this truly absorbing and fantabulous sonic mystery and mastery. "The Martian Chronicles" is purely transcendental listening experience!!! Two drone purveyors are unlocking the gateway of the Void, enter now!!!

Richard Gürtler (Nov 13, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Phillip Wilkerson "Ten To Eleven" CDr

Florida based composer Phillip Wilkerson belongs to more productive ambient artists with longer list of albums, EPs and singles released during the last 5 years. Most of them were released as downloads, but lately some of them are available on CDr format, which is definitely a good news for all of us, die-hard fans of physical products. As for myself, I got in contact with Phillip's soundworlds not long time ago through his heavenly floating ambience on collaborative album with Jourdan Laik entitled "A Dimension Reflected", released in April 2011 on Lotuspike under Time Being project's name. At the beginning of October 2011, Phillip returned again, this time with his brand new solo CDr album, "Ten To Eleven" (mastered by Ben Cox of Lotuspike, photography by Jourdan Laik). Phillip is known for his beautifully relaxing sound sculpting and his newest work is no exception. "All Possible Worlds" unfold the album in absolutely beautiful manner with wall of tranquil free floating and majestic cloudscapes capturing the beauty of skies, a truly picturesque music!!! These warmly inviting tunes overlap into the next piece, "Saturday", but they are attractively enriched by some delicate saxophone-infused sounds. They add brand new dimension to Phil's washes, taking them into more cinematic level. A really nice, captivating composition! Enchanting sonics are explored also on "Complex Silence 15", another warmly floating synth washes while the next composition, "The Heart Has Reasons" is a bit deeper and growing, gradually evolving, but still strongly aerial with emotional drifts to mesmerize the listener. "Blue By Violet" with its serene melancholic drones create a truly evocative and longing feelings bringing back the memories of the legendary "The Lost Pieces". "The Name Within My Heart" is another beautifully waving journey that guides the listener through peace and tranquillity. The next composition, "The Way Home", creates a bit of mystery, yet still idyllically rests on pillowy clouds of immersing synth drifts. Shorter "An Ending (Is A Beginning)" with slightly thicker drones closes finely this strongly imaginative album. The flowing essence of "Ten To Eleven" will undoubtedly relax you, it's highly recommended!!! As stated by the artist and the title of closing piece, "Ten To Eleven" marks an ending and a new beginning in his solo career, so let's wait and see what sonic paintings Phillip Wilkerson will bring to us during 2012.

Richard Gürtler (Nov 12, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

317


Alpha Wave Movement "Myriad Stars" CDr

"Myriad Stars" is brand new album by Gregory Kyryluk, the sole creator of Alpha Wave Movement, released in September 2011 on his own Harmonic Resonance Recordings label. The album fires with deeply drifting "Beacon 1" graciously opening the gates to this joyous intergalactic space odyssey. Spiced with pulsing mid-paced effects it creates warmly inviting atmosphere. Celestial washes open "The Dark Lure", colored with futuristic sonics, this piece quickly transfers into more melodious plateau, gently pulsing and rhythmed electronics with own, trademarking AWM sound sculpting. Well done, Greg! "Beacon 2" utilizes absolutely charming melodies, perfectly balanced with grandeur drifts. Yes, this is AWM at his most sophisticated craft exploring the depth of extraterrestrial realms! Then follow two parts of "Gravity Well Flux", with the first one being rather more deeper and mysterious, while the second part is progressing into active texture in shimmering Berlin School EM fashion, simultaneously atmospheric and driving. "Beacon 3" incorporates hauntingly dreamy airwaves with semi-melodic elements and angelic choir-like sounds, a true celestial beauty in my ears! "Anatomical Universe" is attractively painted with free floating stratospheric ambience and later joined by ear-catching kinetic rhythms, undoubtedly the most moving composition on this trip, again with skillfully bridged dreamy atmospheres and pulsing melodies. "Singularities" drifts into deeper space enriched ocassionally by various bubling cybernetics and processed heavenly choirs, later semi-melodious patterns are added, definitely a true masterpiece!!! Over 14 minutes long "Star Birth" remains in the deeper and vast territories with its warmly aerial and absorbing skyscapes with fragile sonic gurgles, later invaded by sharper, crystal clear space melodies. Another highly elegant and magnetizing sculpting! "73 74 61 72" is the closing composition enriched with space rumblings, hisses, gurgles..., rather intense and sonorous, more experimental texture, colored also by various processed radio transmissions, adventurous outro! "Myriad Stars" by Alpha Wave Movement is another fine space/ambient album demonstrating potential, craft and musicality of Gregory Kyryluk, it's highly recommended sonic journey to look deeper into the vast expanse of the universe!!!

Richard Gürtler (Nov 06, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich: Medicine Box (2011)
« on: November 08, 2011, 01:16:00 PM »
Just arrived today and giving first few spins to "Medicine Box" CD, it's magnificently organic and evocative sonic journey!!! Robert Rich (with his guests) returns again at the very top of his tribal/world fusion/ambient wizardry!!! Looking forward to more explorations of his medicine...

Richard

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Erik Wøllo "Silent Currents (Live At Star's End)" 2xCD

This gorgeously looking 6-panel 2CD digipak (photos by Erik Wøllo and Chuck van Zyl, design by Sam Rosenthal), released in September 2011, features on each CD a live radio performance at Star's End, legendary radio show delivering ambient music in the Philadelphia area since 1976. Utilizing processed electric guitars and guitar synthesizers, analog and digital synthesizers, Erik unfolds for all his listeners beautifully floating and emerging atmospheres and zones with hints of more active textures. Definitely colored with more deeper and droning environments than we are used to hear on previous works of this highly renowned Norwegian composer. Disc One documents Erik Wøllo's live-to-air performance at April 27th, 2002, with 12 untitled compositions. It graciously floates from deeply evocative and longing pieces with expressive guitars ("Part 2", "Part 3", "Part 10") through spiraling aerials ("Part 4", "Part 6") to more quiet and serene spacewashes ("Part 5"), from more monumental ("Part 1"), nearly orchestral pieces ("Part 8") through rather tranquilizing ethereals ("Part 7", "Part 12") to hauntingly tribal-infused ("Part 11") or heart beat groove perfumed piece ("Part 9"). Quite colorful batch of compositions showcasing Erik's highly sensitive touch and craft to fuse wonderful atmospheres with radiant guitar arrangements. Disc Two, recorded at October 28th, 2007 and consisting of 14 sections, enters the stage with abyssal intro, that later shifts into more mechanizing and progressing level, yet still deeply evocative and hypnotic. "Part 2" remains on the darker route, while "Part 3" features minimal, but highly effective and absorbing high-tech grooves, magnificent! "Part 4" dives into more organic realms with bubling heart beats and expressive guitars, a truly subterranean sonic adventure! Slowed-down grooves on "Part 5" attractively color the deeper drifts. Ethereal and slightly dramatic "Part 6" evokes highly imaginative sky high odyssey while "Part 7" is painted by some spooky cosmic soundscapes. This sonic tension is easily relieved through "Part 8" with its more breathing and colossal texture and yearning guitar riffs. Strongly aerial and mesmerizing "Part 9" is gently enriched by some quiet pulses on the background. High-tech grooves, organics and guitars are the main flavors of the following three pieces, with "Part 12" being the most expressive and melancholic. Watery sounds on "Part 13" soon traverse into sequenced high-tech bubling trancey tune, a truly submersible journey! "Part 14" with stratospheric ambience graciously closes this exciting sonic adventure loaded with skillful arrangements and superb performance merging electronics with guitars. Erik Wøllo crosses on "Silent Currents" wider spectrum of moods, distinctively blending darker and lighter elements into musically superior masterpiece!!! An ambient/electronic ace at his finest!!!

Richard Gürtler (Nov 01, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

320
Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Wassonic" CDr by Wassonic
« on: October 31, 2011, 11:29:42 AM »


Wassonic "Wassonic" CDr

Wassonic is brand new collaborative project from Canada involving Vancouver based ambient guitarist Terrence O'Brien of Anomalous Disturbances project and Matthew Poulakakis, sound designer from Toronto, who runs number of solo projects like Automatic Fats, Salvagesound or Meota. Released in May 2011 on Terrence O'Brien's Disappearing Music label. Canadian ambient scene gathered around Toronto's The Ambient Ping is more than lively and this album is one of the best proofs. Terry and Matthew are blending on their debut album, consisting of three long-form recordings, deeper and highly evocative nocturnal soundscapes with hauntingly sea breezing trancey tribal elements. "Factory Florist", 23-minute long starter, moves through various, slightly evolving, coiling and departing stages, at times more tensive, with always apparent gently pulsing beats and ocassional industrialized and futuristic effects enriching vast dronescaping. Hypnotizing and tranquil rhythms with few infectious trumpet-like sounds perfectly spice the deeper drone on the next composition, "Tree Frog Poison". This strongly lively, rich and night-blooming composition creates a truly relaxing, warmly inviting and absorbing light tribal atmosphere. Assorted environmental recordings, some of them reminding whale calls, precisely color dreamy soundwaves on "Signalfish". Listening to this closing composition evokes absolutely fascinating deep-sea submarine journey encountering most remarkable and spectacular adventure to explore the little known underwater world and its inhabitants. Space-opening sound magic at its most imaginative!!! Wassonic is without doubt highly recommended collaborative effort of two talented Canadian sound sculptors!!! In the meantine, new Wassonic tracks are in the works to be released sometime next year. And on the top of that, 2011 re-release of the 2002 debut album from Anomalous Disturbances entitled "The Spirit Molecule" is now available in download format, hopefully a CDr edition will follow soon. Anyway, excellent job, guys!!! Go Canada Go!

Richard Gürtler (Oct 31, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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